30 Minutes of Light Exercise Helps Alleviate Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Exercising for 30 minutes throughout the day can help alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia according to the results of a study published in the journal of Arthritis Research & Therapy.

Exercising for 30 minutes throughout the day can help alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia according to the results of a study published in the journal of Arthritis Research & Therapy.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center designed an experiment to evaluate the effects of short bursts of physical activity on fibromyalgia symptoms. The study focused on the effects of accumulating at least 30-minutes of self-selected lifestyle physical activity (LPA) on perceived physical function, pain, fatigue, body mass index, depression and tenderness.

Participants were divided into two groups: one that would partake in LPA and a control group that would take part in the fibromyalgia education (FME). All of the participants, 84 in total, were minimally active adults with FM. The LPA participants worked toward accumulating 30 minutes of self-selected moderate-intensity LPA, five to seven days per week. For the study, participants were instructed to perform LPA activities that would cause heavy breathing, but still allow them to carry a conversation. Activities such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, gardening, or walking are some examples of LPA. The FME participants received information and support alone.

A total of 73 out of 84 participants completed the 12-week trial and results demonstrated that the LPA group increased its average daily steps by 54 percent. The LPA group also reported significantly less perceived functional deficits and less pain, compared to the FME group.

However, there was no difference between the groups on the six-minute walk test, fatigue, depression, body mass index, or tenderness.